Featuring Wine Gallery 108
Words By Liesel Schmidt
Built around the art of wine, craft beer and gourmet foods, Wine Gallery 108 was created to showcase the beauty of handcrafted and one-of-a-kind products whose quality make them masterpieces. “Our mission is to introduce our consumers to our passion for wine and food and help them develop that passion for themselves,” says owner Lisa Katic.
Since opening in October 2017, Wine Gallery 108 is a small space that packs quite a punch. It has a warm and inviting atmosphere that inspires people to come in and explore the unique items in stock. What makes the shop different from run-of-the-mill wine stores is, of course, the expertise of the staff and the collection of wines. “We have a special selection of high-quality wines and offer focused, personalized customer service,” says Katic. “We specialize in finding wines that are artistically made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process and our selection is well-curated with attention to classic wines that are true to their varietal character. We use our expertise to match our customers’ tastes with our curated selection of wines and gourmet foods.”
An oenophile since her early 20s, Katic has also worked in the food service and wine industries most of her adult life. “I had a long career in the nutrition arena, working in food policy and communications. When I was in college, I funded my tuition by working in various restaurants, country clubs and hotels in numerous capacities,” she says. “Once I acquired this useful skill set in food service and hospitality, I never completely walked away from it. The wine and food part of the business became a lifelong pursuit on a long and winding road, which landed me at 108 North Patrick Street in Old Town.”
Hence the '108' in Wine Gallery 108, which also includes an art aspect that gives it a gallery-like feel. “I think this is what makes us unique,” Katic says. “I started painting unexpectedly later in my life and connected with an inner creative energy that ignited so many dreams and passions of mine. The name of the shop was chosen to feature a gallery consisting of all things artistic, including wine, food and various forms of art itself.”
Personally, Katic leans toward Old World wines with depth and character. “I am a seasonal wine drinker and will choose my wines based on the situation where I am enjoying the wine. I don’t overthink it, but I do like to pair wines with food if I am eating or for a special occasion. I have a sixth sense about flavors and matching wines with the whole host of flavors one can encounter when dining.”
For those whose interest in wine is more than just a passing fancy, the shop has a monthly wine club called Palate 108. Offering two levels of membership, the Pioneer level costs $40 per month for a red and white wine, while the Artisanal level costs $60 per month for a red and white wine paired with gourmet food items. Wine club members receive shopping discounts and access to private tasting events in the shop.
In preparation for the holidays, Katic suggests pairings for traditional dinners. “A lot of people serve things like standing rib roast for Christmas, which would pair well with a Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon or Barolo. Leg of lamb is another popular dish, which would pair well with Rhone wines like Cote du Rhone, Cabernet Franc or Chateauneuf du Pape,” says Katic. “I grew up in an Italian family, so we featured a seven fishes style meal with seafood and pasta, which would pair well with Loire Valley whites like Sancerre or Muscadet, and the pasta pairs with traditional Italian wines like Chianti or Montepulciano or reds from Piedmonte like Barolo. And New Year’s Eve would be a great time to break out the Champagne and sample a couple side by side!”